He liked to look at the sunrise. Also for that reason, he would get up early – at 5.15 a.m., no later than 5.30 a.m.; with age, when he got older then, a little later, but again – at the latest at 6 a.m. Then, the morning toilet and also before the Mass, the Holy Father always prayed the Rosary. He prayed the Rosary lying on a floor in a cross shape. Later, he had his private prayers. Then, – still before the Mass – he was coming to the Chapel where he was preparing to the Eucharist. It was very important to him (…) Unit the end of his pontificate, always at least a few people were participating in the Mass. Maybe not so many as on the beginning when there was 30-40 people, but 10-15, so he would not get too tired, as with anyone who was invited to attend the Mass, the Holy Father was sharing some words afterwards. He was asking from where they came from, what they are doing; for each of them he had some nice word.
– Who was invited to attend the Mass?
– They were various guests. Often from Poland. They were priests and laic people. They were writing requests that at the time they are visiting Rome and they would like to participate in the Papal’s morning Mass. Sometimes, the requests were supported by the Bishop or Pastor signature. We had a lot of requests, approximately two hundred in a day. We were able to select who was able to attend the Mass and who unfortunately we were not able to invite.
– Did you do the invitation drawing?
– Usually, from the letter, we were able to infer who should and needs to be invited, what desires directed them when they were asking for a meeting with the Holy Father.
– Did an ordinary person without the support of the Bishop or Pastor have a chance?
– In the Mass participated ordinary, simple people; sometimes, they were writing: “the desire of my life is to be able to meet with the Holy Father. I know that there are thousands similar people and I have a little, almost no chances…” And then we were thinking that we should invite such person. This person had the courage to write to the Holy Father, the letter was written in a humble manner, this person was not imposing, not counting on somebody’s support and we were inviting such people.
– Now, many people think: “O, I was stupid; I could also write that I was dreaming so much about such meeting…”
– Many have dreamed, hundreds, thousands, millions of people. That is why the Holy Father cared so much and invited people to attend the Mass. This is the reason why he wanted to meet with people during the general audiences and after them. Finally, this is the reason why he traveled so much. To be close not only through the thoughts and prayers, but also physically.
With the consent of Archbishop Mokrzycki “He liked Tuesdays the most”
M Publisher, Kraków 2008